A Seminar on Discernment…
THE ART OF PSYCHO-SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT IN RELIGIOUS
Discernment is the quality of being able to grasp or
comprehend what is obscure. It is an act of
perceiving or discerning something. Discernment has
many dimensions, such as, Religious, Moral,
Mystical, Ignatian and Psychological.
In Christianity, Discernment is a seeking of God’s
will in my life through the inner movements of the
spirit. We are all called to discernment because
Christian life is precisely a response to God’s will
and call to discipleship. Hence it is important that
I learn to be in touch with myself and get to know
myself better. Discernment of spirits is also a
challenging task. It requires maturity, inner quiet,
and an ability to reflect on one’s interior life.
Discernment acts as a means of protection, guarding
us from being deceived spiritually. It also acts as
an instrument of healing, when exercised in grace.
Further, discernment functions as a key to Christine
freedom by forming and educating our conscience.
Finally, discernment serves as a catalyst to
spiritual development. Hence, we should pray always,
“Lord, I am your servant; give me discernment” (Ps.
On January 21, 2018, Dhyanavana, International
Institute of Spirituality, in association with CRI
Mysore Diocese, organized a full day seminar on
Discernment…The Art of Psycho-Spiritual Discernment
in Religious Life, in Pushpashrama Auditorium,
Mysore. At 9:00 a.m. the seminar started with
registration and at around 9:15 am the programme
The Seminar commenced by invoking God’s blessings.
Rev. Sr. Juanita CSST Provincial, Inaugurated the
Seminar. The CRI Provincials were the Chief Guests
and Rev. Fr. Dominic Vas OCD - Director of
Dhyanavana welcomed the gathering and briefed the
audience about the purpose of the seminar. The
lighting of the lamp was done by all the dignitaries
of the Seminar. The Seminar was a grand success for
which many priests, religious and brothers from near
and far attended the seminar accounting to around
400 in number.
The First Session was dealt by Very Rev. Fr. Charles
Serrao, OCD, Provincial, Karnaataka-Goa Province, on
“The Pedagogy of Discernment for the Religious and
Priestly Formation” (Religious Perspective).
The Second Session was dealt by Rev. Fr. Archibald
Gonsalves, OCD, on “Discernment of Conscience –
Voice of God” (Moral Perspective).
The Third Session was dealt by Rev. Fr. Gregory
D’Souza, OCD, on “Discernment of Mystical
Contemplation / Mystical Phenomena” (Mystical
The Fourth Session was dealt by Rev. Fr. Fredrick
D’Silva, SJ, on “Discernment of Spirits” (Ignatian
The Fifth Session was dealt by Rev. Fr. Praveen
D’Souza, OCD, on “Discerning Psychological Problems
and Differentiating between Psychological Disorder
and Demonic Possession” (Psychological Perspective).
Deliberations and Valediction was done by Rev. Fr.
Sylvester D Souza, OCD, Provincial Secretary,
Vote of Thanks was done by Rev. Sr. Theresina
Vadakkekara, USS, CRI Secretary, Mysore Diocese.
Thus, by 5:30 p.m. the seminar concluded by singing
the anthem of Dhyanavana followed by tea. All the
participants were happy about the seminar being
organized on “Discernment” through which they gained
a lot of information on the various topics dealt by
the eminent speakers of the seminar. They were in
praise for the organizers of the seminar, namely –
Fr. Dominic Vas, OCD, the Director of Dhyanavana,
International Institute of Spirituality, Mysore, as
well as the CRI President, Mysore Diocese along with
the CRI team.
The Programme was compeered by Rev. Fr. Rovel
D’Souza, OCD, and the physical nourishment of the
participants was looked after by Rev. Fr. Victor
Pais, OCD. We express heartfelt gratitude to
Pushpashrama community for their whole hearted